We bring you the latest on The Hobby in mainstream media like Bloomberg & Forbes, check out the upgrades in Korean Air holds, weep w/ the Venezuela suicide and so much more you will click on our links obsessively and maniacally!
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More mainstream coverage of our not so little quirky hobby…
Welcome Oprah viewers. Just kidding!
Inside the Risky, Jet-Setting World of Credit Card Churning. From Bloomberg. Oy…I will let you draw your own conclusions, it is a difficult and complicated subject. From quality writing about this hobby in the mainstream media, I think this one got many things right. I made a longer comment in the TBB comments yesterday and want to reiterate this:
I repeat: Bloggers are not your friends. This hobby does not thrive on popularity. On the contrary…it dies!
(In the old days) We were not in the radar of any commercial establishment. We were a rounding error in the marketing budgets of big corporations. And it was effing awesome!
A few excerpts from the Bloomberg article with my incendiary commentary in brackets:
But “people tend to go overboard,”…applying for seven cards at once without a sensible strategy. At best, they may fail to win the rewards they wanted, or find themselves with a random pile of points they can’t make practical use of. At worst, amateurs can let their debt spiral out of control, ruin their credit ratings, or get cut off completely by banks suspicious of their behavior. – [What really gets me is some of the bloggers involved in pumping readers to oblivion about how they can too apply for seven cards at once are still invited to conferences to speak. I mean, explain THAT to me! No thanks, I am done going to any conference unless I approve of every single speaker. Which is likely not going to happen now. So be it. I am sticking to small gatherings involving no fees (or low fees for pizza and beer) with fellow true hobbyists. Bloggers are weird. That includes me lol]
One danger of churning is the temptation to spend more. [You.Don’t.Say! Why are bloggers writing at Frugal Travel Guy, The Points Guy, Million Mile Secrets and many other Titans are invited to speak at conference when they repeatedly pumpingly encourage their readers to apply for credit cards with almost EVERY post huh? I mean, there are some bloggers out there who just can’t go without a post linking to one of them Titans? WTF! Like I said, BLOGGERS ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS!]
One way is to use rewards cards to buy prepaid cards, then use the prepaid balances to pay off other cards. It’s a sort of legal money laundering or a one-person pyramid scheme, designed to put spending on cards in a way that you can—eventually, you hope—get that cash back. [THIS is NOT what you want to read in Bloomberg! “legal money laundering”, “one-person pyramid scheme”…OMG, serenity now, serenity now!]
Churners remain a tiny fraction of this lucrative market. [Not so tiny anymore dude, you are saying this in Bloomberg for crying out loud!]
“For people who game the system,” he says, “it may be over as I know it.” [Thanks!]
All right, that was cathartic! Wait, here comes another one at Forbes again!
At this point I am thinking of divorcing and then remarrying, booking a mega trip that will make all these trips look like child’s play, contacting all my media contacts and then BOOM! Just kidding.
Matt over at Saverocity picked up on this and posed some questions on the whole subject: Love and Hate in the Land of Travel Blogging. Very difficult question to answer indeed. Reader plane2port picked up on the funniest line in the blog post: “After all, our blogs are to teach our family and friends about how inferior their lifestyle is, and a blog is one of the only ways to do that passive aggressively.”
In Flyer Talk there is a thread about View From The Wing. This post pretty much sums it up very well…
This company is on a tear, another AMAZINGLY ridiculous signing bonus offer! (HT: Reddit)
The Free-quent Flyer on another post about starting from scratch again, this time for hotel stays. Interesting methodology. I don’t fully agree with it as I almost never pay. But it may apply to you. The only time I used an OTA recently got me a room at a Marriott property with the biggest bug checking me out from the curtains and non working wifi. So now I am stuck with 4 nights (left after the third night) in Hotels.com expiring in 5 months, anyone know what can I do with them?
Things you learn every day. I did not know either that Korean Air had updated its ridiculously generous award hold policy (up to three days before departure!) to a too generous 30 days hold. I still think the negatives of the high fuel surcharges and potentially being tied up talking/holding on the phone still keeps me away. Maybe when I fly them this summer returning from Malaysia via Seoul I may think differently.
Looks like the Chinese are on a gigantic buying spree. There goes Carlson Hotels.
Ok, I suck in packing, no news there! But I sure had no idea that there are 8 packing techniques to save space in your suitcase. Wow! I just usually shove everything in about an hour before departure because I am too busy tweeting or something lol.
The Job Security of a Great Advisor. Your personal finance fix of the day. Ok, I am biased picking this one. But I think my colleague nails it! Hard! Just a few excerpts:
Major emotional mistakes in the investing realm are not calculated in basis points, they are tallied in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or, in extreme cases, in the millions.
Wealthy people know this. They’ve learned to forge alliances with doctors, lawyers, accountants, consultants and advisors whom they can trust and confide in. The costs have paled in comparison with the benefits – in some cases, over generations. Consistently good counsel pays for itself where large sums of money are at risk – and we are all at risk at all times. In comparison, “free advice” or nearly free is worth exactly what it costs, nothing.
Social intelligence cannot be programmed. Hard-earned trust cannot be arbed or gamified. And, at its highest levels, empathy cannot be machine-learnt. Great advisors get into this business because they care and that is why they flourish. Advisors who do not care, or who peddle one-size-fits-all solutions where nuance is important, can absolutely be replaced by software. And they should be.
Venezuela. The state of the country is just tragic. Give it a few years and Greece will be there as well, it’s well on its way…So sad. This read will make you realize it: The Suicide of Venezuela. So please STFU about not getting your predeparture drink or having to wait ten minutes to check in to your hotel!
And I leave you with this…
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